Sunday, February 05, 2017

President Osinbajo?

Picture from Governor Amosun’s visit to President Buhari in London
I campaigned for Buhari, and rejoiced when he won the 2015 Presidential elections. I wrote this celebratory post, where I outlined my reasons for believing he would turn Nigeria around:
“I have supported Buhari since 2011 because I believe he will combat corruption, re-unite Nigeria, appoint competent aides and Ministers versus rent-seekers, create an enabling environment for our economy and institutions to flourish, and restore our pride before Africa and the world. I now add ‘defeat Boko Haram’ to that list.” — Me, 2015.
Things haven’t turned out as I hoped. Except for gains against Boko Haram and the intervention in The Gambia, not much has changed. The fight against corruption has mostly been conducted in the media, with just one noteworthy conviction to speak of. Court orders to release people like El-Zakzaky have been ignored. There have been no coordinated efforts to re-unite Nigeria, and there are reports that the armed forces shot at protesters agitating for the Biafran state.

The folks at SBMorgen analyzed the performance of Buhari’s ministers in detail, with 72% of them rated ‘Misses’ and 17% rated ‘Intermediate’; and this was after it took 6 months to appoint said ministers. I now think President Jonathan had better ministers in people like NOI and Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina. The command and control approach to managing the economy has not worked — because it is 2017! The CBN did not float the Naira despite multiple press releases stating so, and rapid devaluation and USD scarcity brought manufacturing to its knees in 2016, resulted in a recession, and forced thousands of people out of their jobs.

Net — Buhari has not done as well as I (we) hoped when we supported his change message. We can sit here and hang our heads in despair while the naysayers say they told us so, but that does not change anything. One of my conclusions from thinking about the 2015 election is that we forced ourselves into a “devil or deep blue sea” situation rather than consider other alternatives outside the PDP and APC.


Buhari’s performance aside, events of the past few months point to the fact that his health may be failing. His gaunt, frail, look; multiple canceled state visits; sending delegations to the IDP camp after it was hit by the Airforce rather than going in person; the 10-working-day vacation that has now been extended indefinitely… With 180million+ people, 36 states, and a million and one special-interest groups — governing Nigeria CANNOT be easy. I now no longer think President Buhari has the physical capacity to continue to discharge his duties as President of Nigeria, and think the honorable thing for him to do is pass the baton to VP Osinbajo.

It is only right that he explore every opportunity to deliver the change he promised, even if he will not be the messiah to lead us to the ‘promised land’.

Cheers to the new week.

PS: These opinions are mine alone. I do not speak for my family, friends, or employer.

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